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Product based on malt extract with milk microbiological control

tetra pak swelling events coagulated microbiology

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 06:22 AM


I need you to help me with your comments and experience in one case:
I have a malt extract product with milk packed in tetra pak, in which we have had swelling events, pH 5.5 (normal = 6.8pH) and coagulated. Gram stain microbiological tests were performed, resulting in gram negative cocci in the majority of cases.
Does anyone know what type of microorganism it could be that would be contaminating these products?
Thank you.
PS: if you have information on microbiology of products that are packaged in tetra pak, I would greatly appreciate it.

Rener De Jesus

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Posted 08 November 2018 - 11:41 AM

We have same case. Bloated products in event samples (i.e restart, paper splice, strip splice, etc.). Same micro, gram neg but small rods, (I think you have a mistake in morphology, maybe it is coccobacilli-small rods look like cocci). Our hypothesis is the contamination occured during paper splice because of the dirt that may remain in the paper and get stuck in between strips or hygiene issue like the operator was not wearing gloves during the process. By the way, we isolated a catalase positive micro means it might not kill by hydrogen peroxide.

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Gerard H.

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Posted 09 November 2018 - 08:24 AM

Dear Mario,


Gram negative cocci - these are probably of the Enterobacteriaceae family. This group is easily detectable by swabbing.


You might be confronted with recontamination of your product. This can have several causes:

  • Insufficient hygiene
  • Cleaning and disinfection of the machinery
  • Problems with your cleaning in place (CIP) installation, such as dead angles
  • A recontamination caused by a bad or old seal ring in the product circuit

You need to analyse all product steps to exclude these probable causes. Recent changes, maintenance or breakdowns need also to be taken into consideration.


I hope you will quickly find the cause of this problem.


Kind regards,


Gerard Heerkens

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